Healthcare Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers across the country. It is a time to honor and thank volunteers for their commitment to patient care and their compassion toward patients, staff and the community. Volunteers are known for their work in supporting emergency departments, cardiac care areas, neonatal intensive care units, wayfinding areas, physical therapy departments and community health services. These volunteers also make an impact within risk management arenas, in hospice care, and within transportation, food pantries, lending closets and gift shops.

Volunteer Week 2023 is April 16-22.

Join in on the recognition by sharing volunteer-related selfies and stories with The Beryl Institute. Use #HCVolunteerWeek on social media to bring light to your celebrations.

Below is a list of ideas and suggestions for celebrating that are gathered from Volunteer Professionals Community members.

Ideas to Celebrate Volunteers

Below is a list of ideas, both big and small, to celebrate and show appreciation to your volunteers.

  • Luncheon or breakfast
  • Create and recognize volunteers for awards or hours of service
  • Zoom social
  • Social media posts and shout outs to recognize volunteers on a broad platform
  • Newsletter at the end of the volunteer week summarizing the awards, pictures and highlights from the volunteers
  • Emails to keep volunteers up to date on what is happening at the hospital, including challenges to be active and engage
  • Create a collage of HOPE: a big picture of the word of HOPE filled in with pictures of people
  • Virtual opportunities
  • Mail gift cards to encourage attendance or participation in volunteer week activities
  • E-card
  • Socially distanced outdoor picnics
  • Pen pal program where patients write about themselves and a volunteer writes back to them
  • Department managers mail notes to volunteers
  • Offer opportunity for the community to adopt a unit and show their support for staff by bringing in snacks, lunch, thank you cards, etc.
  • Appreciation cards: Teens write cards of encouragement for the hospital staff and place the cards on windshields of employee cars in the garage
  • Offer the COVID-19 vaccine to volunteers
  • Drive through for volunteers creating a safe way to engage
    • Candy cane lane (Holiday theme)
    • Open event for a window of time (ex: 11am - 1pm)
    • Provide gift boxes of various local products supporting local businesses (local coffee, hot sauce, pickles, toffee)
  • Virtual week with a focus for everyday, such as Trivia Tuesday with questions about the hospital, Wellness Wednesday focusing on how to stay safe during the pandemic, Thankful Thursday and we took to social media and Flashback Friday where we shared memories and stories from over the years.
  • Offer services to help volunteers: errands, childcare, tutoring
  • Hospital board directors call volunteers to personally thank them for their service.

Gift Ideas

Below are gift ideas that are gender neutral and cover a wide age range that will support your efforts to celebrate and show appreciation to your volunteers, whether that is during volunteer week, a holiday season or just because.

  • Mask lanyards
  • Masks
  • T-shirts (welcome back gift when volunteers return or a mail item)
  • Blankets
  • Umbrellas
  • Battery operated lanterns (hurricane season)
  • Mini first-aid band aid pack 
  • String backpack to bring in smock and change of shoes
  • Fitness trackers
  • Holiday gift baskets
  • Journals
  • Tumblers
  • Insulated grocery tote
  • Flashlight
  • Branded magnets
  • Donate to a foundation in honor of the volunteers
  • Girl scout cookies
  • Socks with a saying on the bottom (ex: If you can read this, I am off duty.)
  • Pens/notepads
  • Hot or a cold pack
  • Plant (succulent) with a note that says "Thanks for tending to our patients."
  • Fleece vests
  • Scratch offs with prizes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Chapstick

Volunteer Week Themes

Create and use a motto, image, theme throughout the week to make your volunteer week memorable. Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering a Work of Heart
  • We Can't Mask Our Gratitude
  • Making a World of Difference